B is for... burgers? IHOP had us all confused when they recently changed their iconic name to IHOb. They revealed that this change is temporary, but it certainly got people talking, including us! However, was this marketing stunt actually successful? We investigated.
IHOP has seen better days. Pancake love has steadily decreased in recent years due to the low-carb trend that has taken America by storm. IHOP has also been struggling to get people in the door during the pivotal lunchtime hours. Thus, their temporary name change to IHOb was a smart move for two reasons: it reminded people that they still exist, and it informed people that they offer burgers.
IHOP has also struggled to get millennials to flip over their food, partly because millennials have been opting for fast-casual restaurants. But, there is one place that seems to be defying all this: Denny's. Over the last couple of years, Denny's has been able to connect and engage with millennials, which has led to their biggest growth in a decade. Part of this growth is thanks to their cartoon series, "The Grand Slams," which features wisecracking animated breakfast foods, that are leaving fans hungry for more.
Since IHOP's name change people have begun to grow nostalgic for their pancakes. Pancake lovers have even taken to social media, writing about how IHOP should stick to what they're good at, pancakes. But having people posting about how great their pancakes are on social media certainly isn't a bad thing. In fact, since the announcement of their name change, searches for the terms "pancakes" and "IHOb pancakes" have steadily increased.
So, we come back to our original question; "was this stunt successful?" In the short-term, all signs seem to point to "yes." This stunt has successfully got people to talk about the brand and their burgers. Plus, for the first time in seven quarters, they have seem positive growth in their same-store sales. Unfortunately they have gotten very mixed reviews on their burgers, which might deter people from grabbing lunch there again.
Lavish marketing stunts can help increase awareness and get consumers to try something once, However, brands must have a quality product to get people to keep coming back once the excitement of the marketing stunt has worn off.
Feb 14, 2020